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Waterproofing Contiguous Piled, Secant Piled & Diaphragm Basement Walls

The use of contiguous / secant piling and diaphragm wall construction techniques to construct retaining walls is common in large commercial basement projects. The nature of these construction techniques is such that the only practical option is to apply waterproofing systems to the internal face of the retaining wall.

Safeguard offer a choice of systems for waterproofing these types of basement retaining wall. These are:

Choosing which system to use will depend on a number of factors including site conditions, drainage options, and personal preference. Typical waterproofing methods using both systems are described on this page. However, it is suggested that our technical department are contacted on 01403 210204 to discuss specific projects.

Oldroyd Cavity Drainage System

Oldroyd Xv20 used to waterproof contiguous piling

This system allows water to permeate through the basement retaining wall, but redirects it away from the internal wall of the basement towards a sump or other suitable discharge point. For this type of application, a cavity drainage membrane with a large stud size such as Oldroyd Xv20 is usually preferred in order to cope with the higher potential flow rates required for larger basement projects.

This type of waterproofing system can be used on contiguous / secant piling as well as diaphragm walls. In accordance with BS8102: 2009 the structure should offer primary resistance, regulating the volume of water entering the basement, in order not to exceed the drainage capacity of the system. Measures on how to improve the watertightness of retaining walls can be found in the ICE publication, ‘Specification for piling and embedded retaining walls.’¹

Vandex Cementitious Waterproofing Slurries

When applied to concrete retaining walls, Vandex waterproofing slurries create an impervious barrier, blocking the passage of groundwater into the basement. Because the types of basement retaining wall described on this page are constructed from concrete, Vandex Super is usually selected as the waterproofing slurry. Vandex Super is specifically designed for the waterproofing of concrete and offers a higher coverage rate than other Vandex waterproofing slurries, making an economic choice.

When waterproofing diaphragm walls, Vandex Super is simply sprayed onto the internal face of the wall. When waterproofing contiguous or secant piling, the Vandex Super waterproofing layer is typically sandwiched between a layer of shotcrete and a poured concrete internal wall (see below):

Contiguous or secant piled wall – Vandex Super

This method of waterproofing is more dependent on the strength of the underlying piles and the tolerances between them than the Oldroyd method (see above). It should only be used in conjunction with reinforced concrete as shown in the diagram above.

Combined Waterproofing System

Combined waterproofing systems are often desirable when waterproofing basements. BS8102:2009 (Code of practice for protection of below ground structures against water from the ground) suggests that "combined protection" should be considered where the assessed risks are deemed to be high (e.g. permanently high water table) or the consequences of failure are high.

An example of a combined waterproofing system for piled basement walls is shown below:

Combined waterproofing of piled basement wall

A wide variety of combination systems can be specified depending on the type and quality of the retaining wall. For example, in certain situations it would be possible to omit the reinforced concrete wall from the example above. Please call our technical department for details on 01403 210204.

¹ "ICE Specification for Piling and Embedded Retaining Walls 2nd edition" Institution of Civil Engineers – ISBN: 9780727733580

Related Applications

Waterproofing Newbuild Basements – Use of a "dual layer" externally applied waterproofing system to waterproof newbuild basements where access to the external face of the basement walls is possible.

Basement / Cellar Conversions – Use of internally applied waterproofing systems to upgrade existing cellars and basements.

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